Mass Highways Cost 5 Times National Average, Rank Low in Quality

Mass Highways Cost 5 Times National Average, Rank Low in Quality

Some interesting data.

Massachusetts administrative costs per mile of highway is $74,855. National average? $10,579.

We spend $675,312 per mile on our highways, second only to New Jersey.

National average? $160,202.

Despite spending 5 times the national average, this same report shows Mass. roads and bridges to be among the worst in the U.S.

And they wonder why we don’t want to give them more gas tax dollars.

 

http://reason.org/files/21st_annual_highway_report.pdf

 

National Taxpayers Union Foundation Finds Zero Fiscally Responsible Legislators in Mass. Delegation

National Taxpayers Union Foundation Finds Zero Fiscally Responsible Legislators in Mass. Delegation

A National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s analysis of the 113th Congress found that there was not a single member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation that proposed net spending cuts.  . The report provides a comprehensive overview of the net cost of all of the spending and savings bills sponsored or cosponsored by each member of Congress. The NTUF cross-index their database of cost estimates with each bill supported by each member to calculate their net spending agenda (excluding overlapping/duplicate measures).

 

There were no net budget cutters among Massachusetts’ delegation, spending agendas ranged from increases of $41 billion to over $1 trillion.

Details on the Massachusetts delegation can be found on the NTUF website at http://www.ntu.org/ntuf/bt-state/113-2/massachusetts.html .

 

 

A Battle Won

A Battle Won

 

“There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them; who, esteeming themselves children of Washington and Franklin, sit down with their hands in their pockets, and say that they know not what to do, and do nothing.” 

 Henry David Thoreau

In the summer of 1776, when our Founders committed treason against England and King George, they righteously justified their actions by citing the moral purpose of government:  To secure our rights.  While we have expanded immensely the scope and purpose of government over the past 238 years, the only moral purpose of government remains the same.

If I were to point to the most important achievement of the Tea Party movement, it would be the success in exposing the damage that our government has done to the ends for which it was created.  The US government has lost its legitimacy as the protector of individual rights.

A Rasmussen Poll released on Friday found:

  • 54% of Americans think that their government is a threat to individual liberty, rather than a protector   
  • 67% believe that the government is a special interest group that looks out for its own interests rather than those of citizens

These are startling numbers

 

After 5 years, a majority of the American public have sided with the Tea Party on its primary message.  To say that our government is a threat to our rights would be an understatement.  It has destroyed those rights.

 

Last week’s standoff at the Bundy Ranch wasn’t only about cattle and land, it was about a militarized police force threatening private citizens.

The NSA spying story wasn’t about national security. It was about a government that treats its citizens as suspects.

The ACA is not a law that guarantees us health care.  It codifies the denial of an individual’s free choice.

The stimulus and bailouts that sparked our movement were not just more government waste and corruption.

 

They were acts all of aggression against our right to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

When the Tea Party movement started five years ago, we knew we needed to get the American people on our side first.  It took five years, and we have suffered defeats, but we can take heart at the new attitude of the American people.  Their eyes are open to the evil of big government.  This is a major victory for our cause.  Now, let’s hold onto this victory and destroy the ideology that sets the state above the individual.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The Declaration of Independence

 

An Irish Democracy?

An Irish Democracy?

We are fast approaching the 5th Anniversary of the first Tax Day Tea Parties.  In the spring of 2009, Americans had become deeply suspicious of the institutions that defined our society.  The government, large corporations, banks, legislatures, Congress, and political parties had betrayed the American public.  We were fed up and decided to let our leaders know that we were mad as hell and we weren’t taking it anymore. 

 

Five years later, we’ve become what is one of the greatest and longest lasting political movements in US history.   To many, it is unclear whether our mission will be successful, but many more of us have no doubt that we will eventually free America from the oppression of a bloated government and the crony-capitalists that control it.

 

We have changed from an angry movement lacking direction into thousands of very effective small groups and individuals doing the daily tasks of restoring liberty.  Whether it is aiding a campaign, being a candidate or educating and rallying citizens to an important cause, each action is a step in the right direction.  There is one tactic that has not been sufficiently used until recently.  It is called “Irish Democracy.”

 

Professor Glenn Reynolds recently quoted Professor James Scott in USA Today:  

 

“More regimes have been brought piecemeal to their knees by what was once called ‘Irish Democracy,’ the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence of millions of ordinary people, than by revolutionary vanguards or rioting mobs.”

 

Whether it is refusal to sign up for Obamacare, gun owners avoiding registering their guns in Connecticut,  willful disobedience of immoral laws or entire states nullifying drug laws, we as citizens are learning to exert authority over their own lives.  In this mixed up and confusing political paradigm, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and even Democrats, are finding common ground with those of us willing to stand opposed to a growing and intrusive tyranny.  After 5 years of the Tea Party movement, many Americans are finding the truth in our message, even while they voice hesitancy about us.

 

Anthony Codevilla, a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute, recently wrote:  

 

“The principal feature of today’s ruling class is precisely that it reigns in open contempt of the Constitution of 1787 and of their fellow Americans who wave copies of it in forlorn attempts to limit the ruling class’ pretensions. History is univocal: any ruling class self-referential to the point of defaulting on its obligations leaves the ruled no alternative but to turn their backs on it, and eventually to revolt.”

 

We are still learning how to resist their betrayal of our Constitution and our values and we are still learning how to revolt.  We are running for office, calling talk radio, writing letters, picketing, voting, and, when we can, withdrawing.   

 

In the words of Professor Reynolds,  

 

“As we struggle, mostly in vain, to rein in the metastasizing power of a federal government that has grown out of control, perhaps Irish Democracy offers a solution. Sometimes it seems like that’s the only kind of democracy that’s likely to 

make a difference.”

 

The late 20th century showed us many times that peaceful resistance to tyranny is one of the most effective tools available to liberty seekers.  It is only one tool of many that we have available, but in this time of crisis, we need to use every tool possible.  

 

Think about opportunities to practice Irish Democracy as we move into the 5th year of the Tea Party movement.

Worcester Tea Party to Picket Arne Duncan

Worcester Tea Party to Picket Arne Duncan

              Area citizens opposed to federal government influence in local public school curriculum will be picketing a visit by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.  Duncan is an advocate for the recently implemented and highly controversial Common Core standards.  He will be participating in a town hall-style meeting on career and technical education at Worcester Technical High School on Wednesday, March 12 at 9 a.m.

               Common Core is a one size fits all set of education standards.   These standards are being implemented in 45 states, though several states are rethinking their participation because of resistance from parents, teachers, and administrators.  The un-proven, un-tested and under-funded standards will cost state and local governments billions of dollars to implement. 

               If fully implemented, Common Core will federalize public education.   Local control will be transferred to a bureaucracy in Washington.  Common Core standards are replacing the very successful Massachusetts standards that have made the state’s public schools the best in the nation.   Ironically, Massachusetts, a leader in standardized student test results, will spend millions to LOWER its standards. According to concerned teachers, it will undermine their autonomy and their creative ability to help students learn. 

 

               Just last week in Worcester, the Worcester School Committee voted to support parental rights by giving them the option to OPT out of the standardized pilot PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.) associated with the Common Core.  This parent lead movement has also gained the support of the EAW (Educational Association of Worcester) teachers’ union in Worcester by voting “NO CONFIDENCE” in the implementation of PARCC.

 

Common Core is also committed to building massive student data bases by gathering over 400 data elements on each student, including religious affiliation, medical information, and family income – well beyond what is currently captured.  These databases are designed to track children from preschool through college.

               Picketers will gather at 8:30 am at the corner of Skyline Drive and Belmont Street in Worcester prior to Secretary Duncan’s visit to Worcester Technical School.  Worcester Technical High School is located at 1 Skyline Drive, Worcester.

Letters to the Editor

Many Tea Party members are not sure what their role is in the movement.  If you are not comfortable with getting involved at the organizational level, there is a simple, effective, and very important role for each of you.  You are our messengers.   One of the most effective ways to promote the Tea Party message of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and adherence to the Constitution is by writing a letter to the editor.  Well written letters supporting our cause can light brushfires in the minds of people who may not fully understand the nature of the challenges facing our country.  They also give us an opportunity to show that freeing the individual from the chains of a bloated and oppressive government is the most effective way to raise every American’s liberty and ability to pursue happiness.

What makes a good letter to the editor?

  • Topical
  • Factual
  • Concise
  • Positive

Here are a few pointers for writing an effective letter to the editor:

  • Grab the readers’ attention in the first sentence.
  • State your opinion clearly in the first paragraph and repeat it in the last paragraph.
  • Do not use personal attacks. Don’t rant. 
  • Back up your opinion with facts.  Verify your facts.
  • Giving your opinion is important, but you should also offer solutions.  Remember though, often the best solution is to do nothing!
  • Be positive!  Explain the value of freedom.  Be optimistic.
  • Keep your letter to 250 words or less.  This is very challenging, but many newspapers have word limits and readers will completely read a short letter.
  • The Worcester Telegram has the widest readership in our area, but weekly local newspapers shouldn’t be overlooked.  Your neighbors and friends are more likely to be influenced by your well written opinion.
  • Get in the habit of writing letters every month.  Most newspapers will limit you to once per 90 days, but if you choose three newspapers, then you can rotate one per month.

Some of our members have volunteered to help with proof reading letters and helping you polish your message.  They can offer as much or as little help as you need.  You can contact them at:Letters@worcesterteaparty.com.

You can use the same email address to tell us when your letter is published, so we can let everyone know to comment on it.  Be prepared to be ridiculed in the online comments.  Don’t respond with the same kind of vile nastiness that they throw at you.  If we can get our message out this way we can influence public opinion and ensure that our children will live in culture that values freedom.

Lessons From U.Mass.

Lessons From U.Mass.

 You can tell people they are wrong by a look or an intonation or a gesture just as eloquently as you can in words – and if you tell them they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have struck a direct blow at their intelligence, judgment, pride and self-respect. That will make them want to strike back. But it will never make them want to change their minds. You may then hurl at them all the logic of a Plato or an Immanuel Kant, but you will not alter their opinions, for you have hurt their feelings.
-Dale Carnegie

 

One of the speakers at Thursday’s Worcester Tea Party meeting was Nathan Fatal, a recent Political Science grad from the University of Massachusetts. While at U. Mass., Nathan founded the New England Objectivist Society to promote the philosophy of Ayn Rand.  In this effort, he connected with liberty activists across Massachusetts and he was a speaker at our 2012 Tax Day Tea Party in Lincoln Square.

On Thursday, Nathan talked to us about his painful experiences as a student dedicated to promoting liberty while living in an academic community blindly committed to a statist

dogma. You can imagine the challenges that confronted him in his efforts to convince his fellow students that individual liberty was preferable to the collectivist ideology that was instilled in them in the classroom. He was frustrated by the futility of his task, but he didn’t give up.  He learned.

What Nathan learned is something that the Tea Party movement needs to learn.

Trying to get students to show up at a meeting to talk about Ayn Rand had become a waste of time. Nathan was committed to getting his message out to his fellow students though, so he switched tactics. He started to use Dale Carnegie’s philosophy of “How to Win Friends Influence People”. What Nathan learned was that he needed to relate his message to each individual that he was speaking to. This personal connection allowed his listener to receive Nathan’s message in a completely different light. The responses that he started to receive were much more positive.

Nathan and his coalition of college students are a major reason that liberty will thrive in the United States and around the world.  They are part of a cultural wave that will wash away the Progressive ideology that has sickened our society for almost 100 years.  Let’s use their wisdom to promote the Tea Party message.

Bashing our opponents with insults does nothing to win the support of our fellow citizens who hover in the center of the political spectrum or who have only been exposed to the toxic agenda of leftist academics.   We cannot do this with a negative message.  Our message is one of optimism and faith in individual Americans.  By being more careful with the words that we choose, we can win more supporters.

Addressing the faults and philosophical ignorance of today’s politicians will only yield a short term victory, because these politicians will be replaced by similar charlatans.  We need to destroy the dangerous ideology of these politicians.  What we need to win is a cultural change, one where Americans once again value their freedom.

We must strike at the root.

Many Tea Party members are not sure what their role is in the movement.  If you are not comfortable with getting involved at the organizational level, there is a simple, effective, and very important role for each of you.  You are our messengers.   One of the most effective ways to promote the Tea Party message of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and adherence to the Constitution is by writing a letter to the editor.  Well written letters supporting our cause can light brushfires in the minds of people who may not fully understand the nature of the challenges facing our country.  They also give us an opportunity to show that freeing the individual from the chains of a bloated and oppressive government is the most effective way to raise every American’s liberty and ability to pursue happiness.

What makes a good letter to the editor?

  • Topical
  • Factual
  • Concise
  • Positive

Here are a few pointers for writing an effective letter to the editor:

  • Grab the readers’ attention in the first sentence.
  • State your opinion clearly in the first paragraph and repeat it in the last paragraph.
  • Do not use personal attacks. Don’t rant. 
  • Back up your opinion with facts.  Verify your facts.
  • Giving your opinion is important, but you should also offer solutions.  Remember though, often the best solution is to do nothing!
  • Be positive!  Explain the value of freedom.  Be optimistic.
  • Keep your letter to 250 words or less.  This is very challenging, but many newspapers have word limits and readers will completely read a short letter.
  • The Worcester Telegram has the widest readership in our area, but weekly local newspapers shouldn’t be overlooked.  Your neighbors and friends are more likely to be influenced by your well written opinion.
  • Get in the habit of writing letters every month.  Most newspapers will limit you to once per 90 days, but if you choose three newspapers, then you can rotate one per month.

Some of our members have volunteered to help with proof reading letters and helping you polish your message.  They can offer as much or as little help as you need.  You can contact them at:Letters@worcesterteaparty.com.

You can use the same email address to tell us when your letter is published, so we can let everyone know to comment on it.  Be prepared to be ridiculed in the online comments.  Don’t respond with the same kind of vile nastiness that they throw at you.  If we can get our message out this way we can influence public opinion and ensure that our children will live in culture that values freedom.

January 9 Worcester Tea Party Meeting

January 9 Worcester Tea Party Meeting

Please attend our our January 9th meeting to equip yourself with the knowledge you need to be part of the solution to the issues facing our nation.   Come also to enjoy the company of like minded people and the great food at The Canal.

 

7:00 PM, Thursday, January 9th
65 Water St
Worcester

On the agenda:

  •  James Boudreau is a career entrepreneur, consultant and small business owner, and  author of the recently released book,  “Exporting Prosperity: Why The U.S. Economy May Never Recover”.  “The United States has spent a good portion of the past 20 years in or on the brink of economic recession. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at almost zero and the Federal Government has spent trillions on so-called “stimulus”, yet the standard of living for the average American continues to decline. Jobs are few and farbetween, age discrimination is rife and layoffs abound, yet politicians continue to “distract and deflect” everyone’s focus towards other issues and “kick the can down the road”. Exporting Prosperity explores the statistics that actually drive many aspects of the economy, in sharp contrast to the “feel-good” numbers reported each day.”
  •   Nathan Fatal is a familiar face to many Tea Party members in the Worcester area.  Nathan introduced Gov. Gary Johnson at our 2012 Tax Day Rally.  He is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, with a degree in Political Science.  He is also founder of the New England Objectivist Society. Nathan will talk to us about how we can attract more young people to our cause.
Our meetings are free and open to the public.
 
By expanding our knowledge and strengthening the bonds amongst the members of the Worcester Tea Party we will achieve our goals of “securing the benefits of liberty to our selves and our prosperity.”
Worth Defending At All Hazards

Worth Defending At All Hazards

“The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men.”

It  wasn’t that long ago that most of us were happily oblivious to the world beyond our families and our jobs.  Others of us were involved in politics by being loyal to a political party.  A few of us were involved in the battle against the tyranny lurking beneath the surface anxiously awaiting its invitation.

In an ideal world, most people should be able to spend their lives in the first group, blissfully ignorant of what the government is doing.  In fact, for most of our history, the government was not a factor in the average citizen’s life.  That time has passed though.  It is unlikely that we will ever again be able to take leave from our vigilance in defense of our liberties.

We are drawn into this cause of liberty because of a sense of responsibility to our ancestors who, as Sam Adams said, “purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood”.  More importantly though, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and future generations.

 We are blessed that we can fight this cause without the violence that our ancestors needed to use.  Our opponents are not taking arms against us, but they have cheated us of our liberties “by the artifices of designing men.”

Our opponents cannot use reason and logic against us.  They have no principles upon which their beliefs are based.  They are materialistic people only value envy, greed, and power over equality under the law, honesty, and the American Dream. In desperation, they use vile words, nasty rhetoric, and outright lies.

We have proven to be better equipped than our opponents.  We have the words and actions of our Founders.  We have the logic of natural rights.  We have the greatest documents ever know to the human race which codify the proper moral society and the subsequent case for freedom; our Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

Our opponents will continue to attack each of these.  In fact, they have already done much damage to the Constitution and rendered the Declaration of Independence insignificant in our public discourse.  Yet in the march of history, liberty always advances.

We need your help, not only to defend against the attacks from our opponents, but also to spread the message of liberty.  It’s not enough to just respond to those who may never understand.  We need to win the hearts and minds of our friends and neighbors by showing them that they are being cheated out of the fruits of their labor and of the rights that they were born exercise.

Please consider getting more active in our cause, whether it is through our organization or one of the many that are allied with us.   

 

“The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”

The Brits share a bit of their humor with us

The Brits share a bit of their humor with us

Over 6o people who crammed into the grotto at The Canal on Monday,  November 4 were treated to some great speakers and a bit of British humor.   A film crew from a BBC production company filmed the meeting as part of a reality/entertainment program to be aired in the spring.  The stars of the show, Georgie and Poppy Carlton (as they’re know in the show) joined us for the meeting and Georgie delivered an odd speech about fox hunting and cricket.

Catherine White, who many of you may know from her Constitutional study group, spoke first.  She delivered a great message about the importance of our Constitution and then answered questions from the audience.  Among the questions asked was one from Poppy Carlton, one of our British guests.  “So, do you like President Obama?” she asked.  It was our first clue that we were in for a little humor for the evening.

Jim Wallace, Executive Director of the Gun Owners Action League, spoke on various gun rights issues and gave some facinating facts about gun laws, gun violence, and gun licensing.  Jim showed that he also had a sense of humor in explaining to us that Massachusetts is the only state to require a license for possession of a spice!

Georgie Carlton, the 24 year old heir to the Carlton Estate wrapped up the evening for us with his talk about the distress of losing the right to hunt foxes in England.  After a convoluted story about cricket (and the starting eleven on his team, which included Duffy Scrutton, Hugo Frogsworth, Sniffy Minting, Archie Froggat, and Porks Roberts, among others with interesting names), Georgie ended his speech with these words:

“So,to summarize, it’s not about winning.  It’s about how long you take, the friends you play with, and the tea you have afterwards.  And that’s why hunting is a lot like cricket.”  You would have had to have heard Georgie deliver it to appreciate the humor.

The Worcester Telegram printed a nice article about the meeting:
http://www.telegram.com/article/20131105/NEWS/311059895